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Assignment 4

Assignment #4.

5.1 (1.0 %), 5.2 (0.6 %), 5.3 (1.0 %), 5.5 (0.4 %), 5.8 (1.0 %), 5.9 (0.4 %), 5.10

(0.6 %)

5.1. Band gap and photodetection.

**a) Determine the maximum value of the energy gap (bandgap) which a
**

semiconductor, used as a photodetector, can have if it is to be sensitive to

yellow light (600 nm).

b) A photodetector whose area is 5 × 10⁻² cm² is irradiated with yellow light

whose intensity is 2 mW cm⁻². Assuming that each photon generates one

electron-hole pair (EHP), calculate the number of EHPs generated per

second.

c) From the known energy gap of the semiconductor GaAs (Eg = 1.42 eV),

calculate the primary wavelength of photons emitted from this crystal as a

result of electron-hole recombination. Is this wavelength in the visible?

d) Will a silicon photodetector be sensitive to the radiation from a GaAs laser?

Why?

Solution.

a)

hc

E=

λ

6.626 × 10 −34 × 3 × 108

E= −9

= 3.313 × 10 −19 J or 2.07 eV

600 × 10

b)

I ph P0

# of EHP generated per second = # of incident photons per second = =

e hν

where Iph/e is # of electrons per second and P₀/hν is # photons per second

P0 (2 ×10−3 × 5 ×10−2 )W

Therefore, # of EHP generated per second = = −19

= 3.02 ×1014 s −1

hν (3.313 ×10 ) J

ELEC425/1-2012 2

Assignment 4

c)

hc 1.24

λ= = ≈ 0.873 µm this is infrared light and it is not in visible region.

E 1.42

d)

for Si, Eg = 1.12 eV and for GaAs, Eg = 1.42 eV

**corresponding cut-off wavelength for Si is
**

hc 1.24

λcut−off = = ≈ 1.107 µm

Eg 1.12

**The cut-off wavelength of GaAs is shorter (873 nm) than cut-off wavelength of Si
**

(1.107 μm); thus, Si photodetector will be sensitive to the radiation from a GaAs

laser. In other words, the bandgap of the silicon is smaller than it is in GaAs and

emitted photons from laser (GaAs) will have higher energy than silicon’s energy

bandgap. Consequently, photons will result in generation of EHP in silicon

photodetector.

5.2. Absorption coefficient.

**a) If d is the thickness of a photodetector material, Iₒ is the intensity of the
**

incoming radiation, show that the number of photons absorbed per unit

volume of sample is

I 0 [1 − exp(− αd )]

n ph =

dhv

**b) What is the thickness of a Ge and In0.53Ga0.47As crystal layer that is needed
**

for absorbing 90% of the incident radiation at 1.5 μm?

c) Suppose that each absorbed photon liberates one electron (or electron hole

pair) in a unity quantum efficiency photodetector and that the

photogenerated electrons are immediately collected. Thus, the rate of charge

collection is limited by rate of photogeneration. What is the external

photocurrent density for the photodetectors in (b) if the incident radiation is

100 μW mm⁻²?

ELEC425/1-2012 3

Assignment 4

Photon energy (eV)

5 4 3 2 1 0.8 0.7

0.9

1×108

**Ge In0.7Ga0.3As0.64P0.36
**

1×107

**In0.53Ga0.47As
**

Si

1×106

GaAs

α (m-1)

InP

1×105

a-Si:H

1×104

1×103

0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8

Wavelength (µm)

Absorption coefficient (α) vs. wavelength (λ) for various semiconductors

(Data selectively collected and combined from various sources.)

Figure 5.3. S. O. Kasap “Optoelectronics and Photonics”

Solution.

a)

**let I₀ is incoming radiation which is represented by energy flowing per unit area
**

per second and I₀[1-exp(-αd)] is the absorbed intensity.

**Photon flux is the number of photons arriving per unit area per unit second,
**

P₀/(hνArea)=I₀/hν.

I 0 [1 − exp(− αd )]

So, absorbed photon flux per unit area is .

hν

I 0 [1 − exp(− αd )]

# of photons absorbed per volume =

dhν

ELEC425/1-2012 4

Assignment 4

b)

from Fig. 5.3 α ≈ 6.0 × 10⁵ m⁻¹ is the absorption coefficient for Ge at 1.5 μm

incident radiation

I (d ) = I 0 exp(− αd ) = 0.1I 0

exp(− αd ) = 0.1

ln 0.1

d =−

α

ln 0.1

d =− ≈ 3.84 µm

6.0 × 105

from Fig. 5.3 α ≈ 7.5 × 10⁵ m⁻¹ is the absorption coefficient for In0.53Ga0.47As at 1.5

μm incident radiation

I (d ) = I 0 exp(− αd ) = 0.1I 0

exp(− αd ) = 0.1

ln 0.1

d =−

α

ln 0.1

d =− ≈ 3.07 µm

7.5 × 105

c)

**given ηQE = 1, the rate of charge collection is limited by rate of photogeneration,
**

and I₀ = 100 μW/mm² = 100 W/m²

I ph P I / area I 0 (1 − exp(− αd ))

= = =

e hν hν hν × area

I ph e × I 0 [1 − exp(− αd )] e × 0.9 I 0 × λ

J ph = = =

area hν hc

−19 −6

1.6 × 10 × 100 × 0.9 × 1.5 × 10

J ph = −34 8

= 108.663 A/m 2 or 10.866 A/cm 2

6.626 × 10 × 3 × 10

**The reflection of the light from the surface of the photodetector is neglected.
**

Assumed that the anti-reflective coating has efficiency 100%.

5.3. Ge Photodiode.

**Consider a commercial Ge pn junction photodiode which has the responsivity
**

shown in Figure 5.20. Its photosensitive area is 0.008 mm². It is used under a

ELEC425/1-2012 5

Assignment 4

**reverse bias of 10 V when the dark current is 0.3 μA and the junction capacitance
**

is 4 pF. The rise time of the photodiode is 0.5 ns.

**a) Calculate its quantum efficiency at 850, 1300 and 1550 nm.
**

b) What is the intensity of light at 1.55 μm that gives a photocurrent equal to

the dark current?

c) What would be the effect of lowering the temperature on the responsivity

curve?

d) Given that the dark current is in the range of microamperes, what would be

the advantage in reducing the temperature?

e) Suppose that the photodiode is used with a 100 Ω resistance to sample the

photocurrent. What limits the speed of response?

Responsivity(A/W)

0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2

0.1

0

0.5 1 1.5 2

Wavelength(µm)

**The responsivity of a commercial Ge pn
**

junction photodiode

© 1999 S.O. Kasap, Optoelectronics (Prentice Hall)

**Figure 5.20. S. O. Kasap “Optoelectronics and Photonics”
**

ELEC425/1-2012 6

Assignment 4

Solution.

a)

**area = 0.008 mm² = 8.0·10⁻⁹ m²
**

I ph / e

ηQE =

P0 / hν

I ph

R=

P0

Rhν hcR

η EQ = =

e eλ

**Wavelength, nm 850 1300 1550
**

Responsivity, A/W 0.26 0.58 0.72

ηQE, % 38.0 55.43 57.71

b) Iph = Id = 0.3 μA

P0 = I ph / R = 0.3 × 10−6 / 0.72 ≈ 0.42 × 10 −6 W or 0.42 µW

P0 0.42 × 10 −6

I0 = = = 52.5 W/m 2 or 5.25 mW/cm2

area 8.0 × 10−9

c)

**The energy band gap is increasing with the decreasing of the temperature;
**

consequently, the cut-off wavelength is decreasing as temperature is decreasing.

So, the higher photon energy is needed to initiate photon absorption. For instance,

the curves representing the relationship between absorption coefficient and

wavelength demonstrated in Figure 5.3 will be shifted to the left, when temperature

is decreased. Hence, the same absorption coefficient for a given semiconductor

will be at lower wavelength and at higher photon energy when temperature is

decreased. The change in the absorption coefficient attributable to the variations in

temperature means that the optical power absorbed in the depletion region and the

quantum efficiency vary with temperature. The peak of the responsivity in Figure

5.20 will move to the left, to the lower values of the wavelength, with decreasing

ELEC425/1-2012 7

Assignment 4

**temperature, since the amount of the optical power absorbed in depletion region
**

increases with the decreasing in temperature value.

d)

**Dark current is proportional to exp(-Eg/kBT), therefore, it will reduced if the
**

temperature will be decreased. The advantage is the improvement of SNR.

e)

**time constant limitation = RC = 100 Ω·4 pF = 0.4 ns
**

The RC constant is comparable to the rise time, 0.5 ns. Therefore, the speed of the

response depends on both the rise time and RC constant

5.5. InGaAs pin Photodiodes.

**Consider a commercial InGaAs pin photodiode whose responsivity is shown in
**

Figure 5.22. Its dark current is 5 nA.

**a) What optical power at a wavelength of 1.55 μm would give a photocurrent
**

that is twice the dark current? What is the QE of the photodetector at 1.55

μm?

b) What would be the photocurrent if the incident power in (a) was at 1.3 μm?

What is the QE at 1.3 μm operation?

ELEC425/1-2012 8

Assignment 4

Responsivity(A/W)

1

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

0

800 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800

Wavelength(nm)

**The responsivity of an InGaAs pin
**

photodiode

© 1999 S.O. Kasap, Optoelectronics (Prentice Hall)

Figure 5.22. S. O. Kasap “Optoelectronics and Photonics”

Solution.

a)

I ph

R= = 0.87 from Figure 5.22

P0

2 × I dark 2 × 5 × 10 −9

I ph

P0 = = = ≈ 11.49 nW

R R 0.87

**hcR 6.626 ×10−34 × 3 ×108 × 0.87
**

ηQE = = ≈ 0.6973 or 70.0 %

eλ 1.6 ×10−19 ×1550 ×10−9

From the dimensional identities: [Iph] = A=C/s, [P₀] = W = J/s, [R] = A/W = C/J

So, responsivity is the charge collected per unit incident energy

b)

**for λ = 1.3 μm R = 0.82 A/W from Figure 5.22
**

ELEC425/1-2012 9

Assignment 4

I ph

P0 = = 11.49 nW from part (a)

R

I ph = P0 R = 11.49 × 10 −9 × 0.82 = 9.422 nA

**hcR 6.626 ×10−34 × 3 ×108 × 0.82
**

ηQE = = ≈ 0.784 or 78.4 %

eλ 1.6 ×10−19 ×1.3 ×10−6

5.8. Transient photocurrents in a pin photodiode.

**Consider a reverse biased Si pin photodiode as shown in Figure 5.23. It is
**

appropriately reverse biased so that the field in the depletion region (i-Si layer)

E=Vr/W is the saturation field. Thus, photogenerated electrons and holes in this

layer drift at saturation velocities vde and vdh. Assume that the field E is uniform

and that the thickness of the p⁺ is negligible. A very short light pulse

(infinitesimally short) photogenerates EHPs in the depletion layer as shown in

Figure 5.23 which results in an exponentially decaying EHP concentrations across

W. Figure 5.23 shows the photogenerated electron concentration at time t = 0 and

also at a later time t when the electrons have drifted a distance ∆x = vde∆t. Those

that reach the back electrode B become collected. The electron distribution shifts at

a constant velocity until the initial electrons at A reach B which represents the

longest transit time τe = W/vde. Similar argument apply to holes but they drift in the

opposite direction and their transit time τh = W/vdh where vdh is their saturation

velocity. The photocurrent density at any instant is

j ph = je (t ) + jh (t ) = eN e vde + eN h vdh

**where Ne and Nh are the overall electron and hole concentration in the sample at
**

time t. Assume for convenience that the cross sectional area A = 1 (derivations

below are not affected as we are interested in the photocurrent densities).

**a) Sketch the hole distribution at a time t where τh > t > 0 and τh = hole drift
**

time = W/vdh.

b) The electron concentration distribution n(x) at time t corresponds to that at t

= 0 shifted by vdet. Thus the total electrons in W is proportional to

integrating this distribution n(x) from A at x = vdet to B at x = W.

ELEC425/1-2012 10

Assignment 4

**Given n(x) = n₀exp(-αx) at t = 0, where n₀ is the electron concentration at x
**

= 0 at t = 0 we have

W

Total number of electrons at time t = ∫vdet

n0 exp[− α ( x − vdet )]dx

and

Total number electrons at time t

Ne =

Volume

Then

1 W n0 t

N e (t ) =

W ∫

vdet

n0 exp[− α ( x − vdet )]dx =

W

1 − exp − α W

τ

1 −

e

where Ne(0) is the initial overall electron concentration at time t = 0, that is,

1 W n0

N e (0 ) =

W ∫ 0

n0 exp(− αx )dx =

Wα

[1 − exp(− αW )]

We note that n₀ depends on the intensity I of the light pulse so that n₀ ∝ I.

Show that for holes,

n0 exp(− αW ) t

N h (t ) = exp αW 1 − − 1

Wα τ h

c) Given W = 40 μm, α = 5 × 10⁴ m⁻¹, vde = 10⁵ m/s, vdh = 0.8 × 10⁵ m/s, n₀ =

10¹³ cm⁻³, calculate the electron and hole transit times, sketch the

photocurrent densities je(t) and jh(t) and hence jph(t) as a function of time,

and calculate the initial photocurrent. What is your conclusion?

ELEC425/1-2012 11

Assignment 4

**Photogenerated electron concentration
**

exp(−αx) at time t = 0

v de

x

A B

W

hυ > E g E

e–

h+

iph R

Vr

An infinitesimally short light pulse is absorbed throughout the

depletion layer and creates an EHP concentration that decays

exponentially

© 1999 S.O. Kasap, Optoelectronics (Prentice Hall)

Figure 5.23. S. O. Kasap “Optoelectronics and Photonics”

Solution.

a)

**The hole distribution is resemble to the electron distribution as it is shown in
**

Figure 5.23. An infinitesimally short light pulse is absorbed throughout the

depletion layer and creates an EHP concentration that decays exponentially.

ELEC425/1-2012 12

Assignment 4

b)

1 W −vdht n0

N h (t ) =

W

0 ∫ n0 exp[− α ( x + vdht )]dx =

Wα

[exp(− αvdht ) − exp(− αW )]

n exp(− αW ) t

N h (t ) = 0 exp αW 1 − − 1

Wα τ h

c)

40 × 10 −6

τ e = W / vde = = 400 ps

105

40 × 10 −6

τ h = W / vdh = = 500 ps

0.8 × 105

**At time t = 0, Ne(0) = Nh(0), n₀ = 10¹³ cm⁻³ = 10⁷ m⁻³
**

n0

N e (0 ) = [1 − exp(− αW )]

Wα

1019

N e (0 ) =

40 × 10 −6 × 5 × 10 4

[ ( )]

1 − exp − 5 × 10 4 × 40 × 10 −6 ≈ 4.323 × 1018 m -3 or 4.3 × 1012 cm -3

The initial currents are

je (0 ) = eN e (0 )vde = 1.6 × 10 −19 × 4.3 × 1018 × 105 ≈ 6.9 × 10 4 A/m 2 or 6.9 A/cm 2 or 69 mA/mm2

**jh (0 ) = eN h (0 )vdh = 1.6 × 10 −19 × 4.3 × 1018 × 0.8 × 105 ≈ 5.5 × 10 4 A/m 2 or 5.5 A/cm 2 or 55 mA/mm2
**

the total initial photocurrent is je(0)+jh(0) = 69+55= 124 mA/mm²

The individual transient photocurrents are given by

en0vde t

je (t ) = eN e (t )vde = 1 − exp − αW 1 − for t < τ e

Wα τ e

en0vdh exp(− αW ) t

jh (t ) = eN h (t )vdh = exp αW 1 − − 1 for t < τ h

Wα τ h

**The response is determined by the slowest transient time. There is a kink in the
**

photocurrent waveform when all the electrons have been swept out at τe = 400 ns.

ELEC425/1-2012 13

Assignment 4

x 10

4 Photocurrent density

14

12

10

Photocurrent density (A/m2)

j (t)

t

8

j (t)

e Total photocurrent density

6

j (t) electrons

4 h

holes

2

0

0 1 2 3 4 5 6

Time (sec) x 10

-10

τe τh

5.9. Fiber attenuation and InGaAs pin Photodiode.

**Consider the commercial InGaAs pin photodiode whose responsivity is shown in
**

Figure 5.22. This is used in a receiver circuit that needs a minimum of 5 nA

photocurrent for a discernible output signal (acceptable signal to noise ratio for the

customer). Suppose that the InGaAs pin PD is used at 1.3 μm operation with a

single mode fiber whose attenuation is 0.35 dB km⁻¹. If the laser diode emitter can

launch at most 2 mW of power into the fiber, what is the maximum distance for the

communication without a repeater?

Solution.

If Iph = 5 nA, R = 0.81 A/W at 1.3 μm wavelength from Figure 5.22

I ph 5 ×10−9

Power absorbed by photodiode = P0 = = = 6.173 × 10−9 W

R 0.81

ELEC425/1-2012 14

Assignment 4

2 × 10 −3

The attenuation loss is 10 log10 (Pin / Pout ) = 10 log10 = 55.105 dB

−9

6.173 × 10

From attenuation coefficient α = 0.35 dB/km

**The maximum distance for the communication without a repeater, L, is given as
**

attenuation loss 55.105

L= = = 157.444 km

α 0.35

5.10. Photoconductive detector.

**An n-type Si photodetector has a length L = 100 μm and a hole lifetime of 1 μs.
**

The applied bias to the photoconductor is 10 V.

**a) What are the transit times, te and th, of an electron and a hole across L? What
**

is the photoconductive gain?

b) It should be apparent that as electrons are much faster than holes, a

photogenerated electron leaves the photoconductor very quickly. This leaves

behind a drifting hole and therefore a positive charge in the semiconductor.

Secondary (i.e. additional electrons) then flow into the photoconductor to

maintain neutrality in the sample and the current contributes to flow. These

events will continue until the hole has disappeared by recombination, which

takes on average a time τ. Thus more charges flow through the contact per

unit time than charges actually photogenerated per unit time. What will

happen if the contacts are not ohmic, i.e. they are not injecting?

c) What can you say about the product ∆σ and the speed of response which is

proportional to 1/τ.

Solution.

a)

from given length and applied voltage E=V/L=10 V/100 μm = 10⁵ V/m

from the inside cover of the textbook: µe = 1350 cm 2V −1s −1 , µ h = 450 cm 2V −1s −1

**The transit times of an electron and a hole across L is given
**

ELEC425/1-2012 15

Assignment 4

L 100 × 10 −6

te = = = 7.41 ns

µ e E 1350 × 10−4 × 105

L 100 × 10 −6

th = = = 22.22 ns

µ h E 450 × 10−4 × 105

**Another way to solve for transit times of an electron and hole across L in Si is by
**

using Figure 5.7: ve =1.3 × 10⁴ m/s at E = 10⁵ V/m and vh ≈ 4.5 × 10³ m/s

L 100 × 10 −4

te = = = 7.69 ns

ve 1.3 × 10 4

L 100 × 10 − 4

th = = = 22.22 ns

vh 4.5 × 103

Photoconductive gain is

Rate of electron flow in external circuit τ (µ e + µ h )E

G= =

Rate of electron generation by light absorption L

1× 10 −6 (1350 + 450 ) × 10 −4 × 105

G= = 180

100 × 10 −6

b) if the contacts are not ohmic, secondary electrons cannot flow into the

photoconductor to maintain neutrality. So, only the photogenerated charges can

flow through the external circuit; no excess charge can flow and we will not get

photoconductive gain. If the contacts cannot inject carriers, then there will be no

photocurrent gain, G = 1.

**c) change in the conductivity or photoconductivity is
**

eηIλτ (µe + µ h )

∆σ =

hcd

**The speed of response is inversely proportional to the recombination time of the
**

minority carriers, τ. For instance, if the light is turned off, it will take τ seconds for

the excess carriers to disappear by recombination. Therefore, the product of ∆σ and

the speed of response is proportional to

1 eηIλ (µe + µ h )

∆σ =

τ hcd

which is constant for a given device geometry and light intensity.

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